Sunday, March 31, 2013

All about PINK

Happy Easter everyone! Truthfully, the majority of my shopping this Easter weekend was for the hubby -- he needed spring jackets!

But en route I picked up some items for myself. I accidentally (LOL) wandered into J. Crew and picked up the neon pink gingham shirt from the sale rack. I was surprised to find out that cardholders received an extra 20 pct off the already extra 30 off sale prices! Score!

I also needed some workout clothes. I've been temped by Lululemon but I can't afford those prices -- at least not this month. So I settled for Target C9. I was excited to score this pink half-zip pullover on clearance for $12.48 == plus an extra 5% off for Target Red Cardholders. I loved it so much I bought it in other colors such as neon yellow and purple!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

J. Crew Factory Raid!

This will be a quick post! I've been very good about not spending money at J. Crew -- but Factory has been another story! They really have some great offerings lately and it's slightly less shopper's remorse. First up is (yet another) Heartthrob print -- this time the skirt.

On clearance this was an excellent purchase! Also bought these madras shirts, these hot pink earrings, this Charley/Tippi sweater in citron yellow (clearance price!), these dot skimmer/capri pants, and a large floppy sun hat --- mostly for wishful thinking!

Any factory purchases lately? Please share!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Banana Republic sale items

I picked up some already reduced items from Banana Republic this past week. All items were an extra 30-percent off the sale price, plus and EXTRA 10-percent off for cardholders. Sweet deal!

I had been waiting a long time for the tipped one-button blazer to go on sale. I bought the one in "perfect gold." I must say that the arms on this blazer are surprisingly long and I ended up buying a petite size. Normally I can deal with longer length arms on a blazer because many of the blazers now have that cute striped lining -- so you can roll/cuff the sleeves. However, the regular sizes of this blazer just fit me weird: one size being too big, and the size under having an armpit seam that is too tight.

I knew that the "happy medium" would be a petite size -- but it was hard to find in store. They sold out of all petite sizes of this color online and now you know why! For taller women with longer arms, the regular size might work just fine. The fit reminds me of a J. Crew Hacking jacket. This also comes in a pink/white and cream/navy combo.

I also bought these two pairs of chandelier earrings from Banana Republic. I think I bought the two pairs together for $30. I don't own any chandelier earrings and I think for the price it will be fun to experiment with them -- I think they might look nice with a dress.

Have you bought anything from Banana Republic lately? If you have had your eye on something, or perhaps you like these items I bought, you should visit the site: They are offering 35 percent off today!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break splurge! Michael Kors bag!

So I had to take advantage of a great deal on a bag I've been coveting. I immediately loved the Michael Kors Jet Set Medium Tote. I was searching for a black with gold accents bag and Michael Kors seemed like a good brand to shop. I initially considered the Michael Kors Astrid Satchel, as seen frequently on Mix & Match Fashion. I also considered the Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo Bag, frequently seen on Ruffles and Sequins.

In the end I decided to stick with what works best for me. The Michael Kors tote that I bought is remarkably similar in design, quality, and durability to the Louis Vuitton Neverfull. At the risk of sounding like an LV snob, I own a few LV items, including three bags. My LV bags are my "go to" bags -- I saved up a lon-nnng time for each of them, and I have certainly made up for the lofty price tag based on "cost per wear" (which I fully believe in. ) Still, after several years of wearing my timeless LV bags, I really wanted a black bag that could work as a work-to-weekend bag. This one was perfect! To get a modest discount on the retail price helped set this splurge into motion.

I have been super happy with this purchase! Also, I think that being a little tight with my purchases lately has helped to make it more "special" and enjoyable.

Monday, March 18, 2013

LOFT weekend sale

The funny thing about LOFT (and perhaps several retail stores) is that you can see a new item you like, and with periodic visits you can often get the item on deep discount about a month or so later. It makes it super hard for me to be willing to buy something at only, say 15 or 20 percent off. I was able to snag these two items from the sale rack with an additional 40 percent off during this weekend's sale.

I wanted the colorblock cocoon shell tank the second I saw it a month ago. I love the pink and orange color. Additionally, I missed out on the pink and orange colorblock dress from LOFT (a celebrity fave) last year, and was determined to get this item. Actually, I believe I will get more use out this as a tank/shell rather than a dress I would wear occasionally. I just love the pink and orange combination and think both will look great with a neutral -- especially white! The retail price was $55, and I got mine for $18.

I also couldn't pass up this Scuba blazer in pop color. The turquoise really makes me eyes and hair color stand out. The blazer cut is not traditional, but I think it is good to "change it up" once in a while. The blazer was originally $98, marked down to $80 with an extra 40 off... so the total was $48. The material and the striped lining at the cuffs reminds me of the Zara blazers -- which I love but feel are a bit overpriced. I've been wanting a turquoise blazer to add to my collection. This was a win-win!

I have been enjoying the selection and sales at LOFT lately. Have you made any LOFT purchases recently?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The most comfortable sweater/sweatshirt EVER

No, I'm not exaggerating here. In fact, I challenge you to check this out for yourself and please let me know if you have a more comfortable alternative. I found these beauties in Target and because of the terrific colors, I had to buy both.

The sweatshirt is by Merona and you can find it on the website by searching for "raglan."  I am in love with the orange Creamsicle color, but I also love the mint which is a hot color this spring. The colors are much more vibrant in store.  I can picture myself wearing this to Pilates class with tights, with jeans, or a sweater. By the way, each was just $19.99, which comes out to less for Target cardholders.

Monday, March 11, 2013

J. Crew purchase and the end of educator discounts

So I received today's email about the extra 30-percent off sale items and drove quickly to J. Crew to pick up the item I had been coveting since it appeared in catalog: the June Meadow Liberty Blazer. I was aware that it recently hit the sale rack but $159 wasn't within range.

I was dismayed upon making my purchase to learn that although I would receive the extra 30-percent off, I could no longer "stack" it with my educator discount (which is an extra 15 off that amount). I read about it here J Crew Aficianado a few weeks back but I was hoping the post was based on the inconsistency of the discount.

My SA, who knows me VERY well as a frequent customer, informed me in a very apologetic way that J. Crew corporate announced the terms of the discount in a store email/memo two weeks ago.

I realize that for people who never received an extra 15 -percent off, there is a temptation to feel that is fair, not a concern, etc. My issue is that J. Crew has offered the discount on sale items for a long time and NOW it is being discontinued? I can't help but feel it is greedy on the corporation's part. We all know that J. Crew has marked up retail prices in the last year or two and I don't mind playing the pricing "game" if I can get a fair deal. That said, I cannot imagine that I will be shopping as much in J. Crew in the future. I was only able to afford to shop J. Crew frequently because of the stacked discounts. If J. Crew items are no longer in my price range, I will be shopping elsewhere. I realize I am just one person, but J. Crew has a lot of competition from stores like LOFT, GAP, Banana Republic, and even Target. I will definitely be using the "Target test" (i.e. can I get an item similar to this at Target for less?) on future purchases.

With all that said, I am happy with today's purchase -- the Liberty blazer in case my rant made you forget! LOL -- but I just hope I get the "cost per wear" out of it. And I hope I don't see this blazer marked down to $70 online in two weeks, although I probably will.

What are your thoughts on the blazer? Are you a teacher (or student or military member) affected by J. Crew's decision to restrict the educator discount?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Target skirts resemble J. Crew prints

A big big thanks to Fabulous Florida Mommy for her regular blog feature,  "You Look Familiar... Have I Seen You Some Place Before?" I instantly fell in love with this skirt from Target that resembles J. Crew Porcelain Paisley Skirt from 2012.  I had regrets last year about not buying that skirt. However, I must admit that I had passed on several opportunities to buy it because of the high price and the material (it is the kind that snags.) The Target version is a more machine-wash friendly material AND it is lined! Plus, you can't go wrong for $22.99.

Given the great price, I also wanted the navy blue polka dot version, which is the same style and brand (Merona). I had seen this skirt in J. Crew Factory but I never fell in love with it -- maybe because it wasn't lined. Skirt lining is not a 'deal breaker' for me when it comes to skirts, but again, I just didn't love J. Crew's version. This polka dot skirt was also $22.99. Actually, it was even less for me because Target had sent coupons in the mail giving me $5 off a $35 apparel purchase plus I took advantage of the 5% off total using the Target card. I'm pretty excited about these skirts. If all this snow in New Jersey melts away soon, I might get to debut one of the skirts next week with a bright colored top (I'm thinking hot pink, coral orange, or almost neon yellow.)

If you like either of these skirts, I would advise you to act fast. They are not available online and the store I went to had a limited size selection on the rack.

Have you bought any great apparel purchases from Target lately? What do you think of these two skirts?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shopping the closet (and the mall a little!)

I'm proud of myself that for the MOST part I have kept my New Years Resolution to "shop my closet" more --- at least for the first few months of the new year -- and keep new spending purchases at a minimum. While I LOVE to see my favorite bloggers' newest acquisitions, I am also reminded of my resolution by other (favorite) bloggers that are committed to "shopping their closet." This ought to explain my lack of posts. I don't post "outfits of the day" because I teach high school students and apparently have a lot of fans enjoy maintaining some privacy. That said, here are two recent purchases inspired (as usual) by other bloggers.

I bought the parrot tank from LOFT during an extra 50-percent off sale. Score! I loved seeing it on Mix and Match.

I also bought my third pair of Steve Madden Intyce Boots. I own these in cognac and stone leather and ... what can I say? I've been pleased with both purchases. Black seemed like a logical next choice. I began to want the boots after seeing them on Colorful Corporate. I must admit, however, it was a tough decision. I already own Burberry wellies in black, Uggs in black, and Frye motorcycle harness boots in black. I rationalized that I didn't have any black with gold accents boots and also there was a 30-off sale at Steve Madden.

Do you own these items? What are your thoughts? Have you bought a new pair of boots this year?